Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Vacation

Back in early September I was made aware of the homeschooling discount that Great Wolf Lodge offers (only during certain times of the year)...just so happened the next applicable dates coincided with one of my days off (Presidents Day). The discount made all the rooms just $130 per night. The room we booked is normally (as of today) $350 per night!!! Significant savings! So we decided to book the room for one night and take advantage of something we would otherwise not be able to afford to do. For those that don't know, Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel with a massive water park attached to it. It's basically the total kid fun zone.

We made it our birthday presents for the season, since we all 5 of our bdays from Feb 2 to May 10.

We also "convinced" some friends to join us/go on the same days as us (they were gonna go anyway!) - Perfect little vacation!!

We didn't tell the kids what we were doing, only that it was a birthday surprise.
Lalaloopsy is buckled in and ready for the journey. Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg is a quick 45 min drive, door to door.
Since the discount made all the rooms the same price, we went with a loft fireplace suite. It actually sleeps 8, so we had plenty of space:-)

I gave the kids their bday presents from my mom & dad too - since they were perfect for the trip/traveling. New comfy soft blankets were just the right size for their backpacks.
Kenna wasted no time in getting us settled in, just like home
The kids were SO excited, although even when we pulled up, they didn't know where we were or what fun was about to happen - or that their friends would be there too! The words Great Wolf Lodge meant nothing to them - we won't have that luck again. Now they KNOW what its all about! When we pulled into the hotel, Kenna said, "where's the wrapped up part of the surprise?" Haha.
Next time I might have to legislate what gets put in their backpacks a little more closely:-)

Boys bed!
The way the hotel/waterpark works is that you have 1 nights stay, but 2 days access to the water park!
Drying out towels
snacking at night. We had rooms next to each other, so we put the kids to bed and the adults hung out in the other room while they slept. It was very fun to have multiple adults there, because there was always someone to take "kiddie pool duty" for the babies, so we all got a chance to try something fun. Otherwise, I basically would have been stuck in the kiddie pool with Grey (he loved it!) while Brian and the kids had big kid fun.

from the loft:-)
We all brought food for breakfasts and lunches, but we ate dinners together, all three families. On Sunday night we got BBQ, on Monday night, pizza!
Enjoying Pierces famous pulled pork BBQ!

Some slides = fun! Kenna and Brooks are "yellow" the only thing they were not allowed to do was the Tornado water slide.

In the Kiddie Pool, his fave spot. He was tall enough for other slides too, and we sent him down a few, but he didn't like it. They were more for big kids - you can't hold them and go together, he went all by himself!

The big bucket on top dumps when it gets full!

Grey's slides. He loved these little ones. They were his style:-)

I couldn't capture the other two, they were always on the go!

The waterpark is sooo fun, and huge. Swimming pools, wave pool, kiddie pool, hot tubs for kids and adults, flow rider, tons of water slides, obstacle courses, lazy river. This is only a small part of it, visible from our 4th floor:-)
Us, and 1 other family, only were staying one night, but the other family was staying 2 nights, so on Monday morning, we packed up our room, put it all on a cart and brought it to Sam & Heathers room. So we used the water park allllll day (from it's open at 9am until 5pm!!) and had a blast, and it was very convenient to be able to use their room for eating dinner and changing, instead of the change rooms and our van! We actually got refunded $20 off our bill, because we checked out of our room early (before 9:30). WOW. Made it even cheaper!! It was just easier to check out early and get everything into the other room, so we could play, instead of coming back up later to pack up/checkout.
Some of the kids, eating dinner on Monday

All of the kids!!

The lights of Norfolk over the ocean - coming home!
We came home absolutely exhausted! The kids were beyond tired-out. They played hard for 2 days!! We all had a great time, and Brian would love to go again, when the discount is offered again (rumor is it will be in Sept?). For all you're getting for a nights stay, when the discount is applied, it makes it the price of a normal hotel stay! And when they offer you a bonus $20 back for getting out of your room early?! This deal lover can't pass that up!

Enjoy some video - I did break it down a little bit (see timeline under video), so you can watch what is of interest to you. Sam & Heather have a waterproof camera, so most of the footage is from them. I kidnapped their SD card:-)
:00 - Libby & Brooks, underwater
:20 - In the wave pool
:33 - Sam, flow rider
1:03 - Brooks, flow rider
1:25 - Brian, flow rider
1:51 - Libby & Brooks, talking waiting for their ride
3:29 - Sam & Libby, going down a slide
3:52 - Brian & Brooks come off slide
4:00 - Darla, Brian, Nate & Sam, the Tornado slide - the scariest one
5:00 - Brian, Kenna, Brooks & Eli - tube slide
5:12 - Nate, flow rider
5:25 - Sam, flow rider
5:56 - Eli, flow rider wipe out
6:10 - Grace, flow rider
6:31 - Libby, flow rider
6:47 - Kenna, flow rider
7:00 - Brooks, flow rider
7:22 - Kenna, flow rider
7:44 - Brian, flow rider
8:13 - Jaeden, flow rider
8:41 - Brooks, flow rider
9:07 - Kenna, lazy river
9:47 - Grey, talking


  1. Oh my gosh, this looks like so much fun!!!

  2. Yes Sam, that is Canadian offspring for ya! Looks like you all had so much fun.